The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 17, 2014

Co. blamed for W.Va. spill files for bankruptcy

By Jonathan Mattise
The Associated Press

CHARLESTON — The company blamed for a chemical spill that left 300,000 West Virginians without safe drinking water has filed for bankruptcy.

Freedom Industries Inc. filed for bankruptcy Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Company president Gary Southern signed the paperwork.

The water was tainted after a chemical used to clean coal leaked from a storage tank and then a containment area at a facility owned by Freedom Industries.

The bankruptcy document says the leaky storage tank appears to have been pierced through its base by some sort of object.

It also says a current theory for the hole is that a local water line that broke near the Charleston plant could have made the ground beneath the storage tank freeze in the cold days before Thursday’s spill.